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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Other education staff or staff working with schools


10.Management and other education staff

10.4Other education staff or staff working with schools

Last update: 13 February 2024

Other education staff or staff working with schools

At school level each municipality is responsible for employing the staff which is needed. The profession and number of personnel is however not regulated at central level. Examples of education staff and other staff working within schools are:

Mother tongue tutor assistance 
Mother tongue tutor assistance is a resource to support and cooperate with teachers in the education of newly arrived migrant pupils. Schools are obligated to organise the teaching in a way that gives pupils with another mother tongue the conditions to develop their mother tongue as well as Swedish. According to the Education Ordinance (Skolförordning, 2011:185) and Upper Secondary School Ordinance (Gymnasieförordning, 2010:2039), a pupil that doesn't manage to follow the regular education in Swedish, has a right to receive support in form of mother tongue tutor assistance if there is a risk that the pupil doesn't reach the knowledge requirements in at least one subject. Mother tongue tutor assistance can also be given in the student's strongest school language. Education programmes in Mother tongue tutor assistance can for example be found within higher vocational education (yrkeshögskola)

Teaching assistants 
Teaching assistants is a new profession within the Swedish school system. Teaching assistants are meant to both meet the shortage of teachers and act as support for teachers in school. During 2018 the role started to take form but the specific work duties are decided based on the needs of each school. However the teaching assistant can never take over the teaching duties of an authorized teacher. Teaching assistans can for example support the teacher with administration such as copying and handling forms. The support can also be within the social aspects of the school environment. With the support of teaching assistants teachers can focus on the teaching. Due to the extensive shortage of teachers the government has in  2019 invested 475 million SEK (around 47 million EUR) to enable schools to employ teaching assistants. Educational programmes for teaching assistants can for example be found within higher vocational education and folk high schools (folkhögskola).

Pupil assistants
Pupil assistants work in schools and help pupils in need of support or pupils with special needs. The duties of pupil assistants vary but they can for example help pupils keep up with the lessons due to difficulties relating to reading and writing or concentration, psychosocial problems or different kinds of disabilities. Pupil assistants also support the pupils during breaks. Pupils with disabilities are often entitled to have a pupil assistant present during the school day in lessons and spare time activities. It is possible to work as a pupil assistant with different educational backgrounds. Entry requirements often include a completed upper secondary school education such as the childcare and recreation programme. 

School librarians
According to the Education Act, pupils in the compulsory school (grundskola), compulsory school for pupils with learning disabilities (grundsärskola), the Sami school (sameskolan) and the upper secondary school (gymnasieskola) and upper secondary school for pupils with learning disabilities (gymnasiesärskola) must have access to school libraries. The duties of school librarians varies between schools and there are no official knowledge requirements for the profession. The teachers are responsible for the teaching, but the school librarian can act as support. The school librarian can for example participate in reading projects, book conversations and exercises in information search and source criticism.

School health service 
According to the Education act all pupils must have access to student health services with medical, psychological, psychosocial and special needs competencies. Examples of professions within the school health services include school doctors, school nurses, psychologists, counselors and staff with special needs competence. School health services should contribute to creating environments that promote pupils' learning, development and health. The school organizer decides how much staff the school needs have and what competence is needed based on local needs and conditions. But the staff that is available for the student health efforts should have the training needed to cope with the students' needs.

School nurse 
School nurses are nurses that work within schools. It is common for school nurses to work at several schools within a municipality. The duties of school nurses vary but mainly they conduct the pupils’ regular health exams and handle minor injuries. The requirements to work as a school nurse is an authorization as a nurse as well as a specialist training in health and medical care for children and youth.

School welfare officers
In addition to the rest of the school health services, the school welfare officers work in a preventive and health-promoting way. School welfare officers' responsibility is to safeguard and promote the well-being of students, ensuring they have access to a safe and supportive learning environment. School welfare officers also have knowledge of behavioral and social sciences and generally have a social studies degree. In addition, working in a school setting also requires knowledge in social aspects of children and young people. 

Other examples of staff in school are caretakers, computer technicians, school meal personnel and cleaning staff.